In September I had the opportunity to see in person how COOPI develops its nutrition project in Tillabéry region (Niger) tanks to the funding of the European Commission. In Tillabéry region, about the 50% of the newborns and children up to 5 years old suffers malnutrition.
My first stop was at CRENI (Centre for the Recovery of Intensive Nutrition), where the children suffering acute malnutrition with medical complications are admitted. There, we have been received by COOPI’s doctor – Dr. Sama Seyni Rachid – charged of the children admission, who showed us the hospital and introduced us to some patients. Among them there was a young mother who wanted to tell me her experience: “When I arrived to CRENI my baby was unconscious. We spent 13 days here, my baby has been nursed by medicines and catheter and his health now is good”. The situation was very touching: there were a lot of mothers who thanked the nurses and the doctor for their courage and competence in taking care of their children.
After the visit at the hospital we accompanied a member of COOPI’s staff in a routine control at the medical centres of the region. In Sona village it was the care day for children suffering malnutrition. In these occasions doctors and nurses not only control the children’s conditions, but they also make the mothers aware of the causes of malnutrition and of the daily practices helping the prevention.
COOPI’s goal in Tillabéry region is to strengthen the centres ability to take care of the children, and to facilitate population’s access at these services. In order to obtain this result, COOPI collocates and trains its operating teams, provides logistic support and grants the mothers a financial assistance to guarantee long-term medical treatments to their children. Before the end of 2015, more than 7000 children will directly benefit from COOPI’s project and more than 200.000 people will indirectly benefit from training and sensitising activities in the region.
Article and picture by Gemma Perez